Virginia congregations to help 'Change the World'
Farmville UMC’s Devin Rivers (left) and Sarah
McBride help organize food at the FACESfood
pantry in Farmville as part of their “Change
the World" project.
This spring The United Methodist Church is coming together, not only for General Conference, but also to “Change the World” by expressing justice and compassion in each congregation’s local community on May 19-20.
Simply put, “Change the World” participants select a mission project and invite their communities to participate. "Building community locally" may look like creating a community garden, stocking a food pantry, cleaning local parks or repairing homes. There are many ways to imagine changing the world so that it reflects more fully the justice and compassion of God through Christ. “Change the World” is an opportunity to connect mission-minded disciples with the mission of the whole denomination.
Farmville UMC youth Sarah Newman collects
shopping carts used at FACES.
More than 2,000 separate events were registered at the 2011 “Change the World” event. A Rethink Church annual event since 2010, “Change the World” has impacted thousands of lives worldwide.
In addition to some of the usual kinds of mission opportunities, several Virginia Conference congregations are doing some unique and creative things:
* Middlesburg UMC is hosting a block party for residents of a low-income housing development;
* Verona UMC is hosting a community-wide “Hopefest”;
Sunae Pletcher helps clear a building
site for an upcoming Habitat for
* Youth at First Fox Hill will distribute water and snacks on the beach;
* Woods UMC in Chesterfield will give away clothes;
* Christ UMC in Staunton will paint the pavilion for ARC in Waynesboro;
* Sycamore UMC will host a barbecue dinner for the community;
* Westover Hills members will work at Shalom Farms;
* Melrose UMC in Lottsburg will host a “meet ‘n’ greet” event for its Adopt-A-Grandparent program.
Several Virginia churches are doing Stop Hunger Now meal-packing events.
“Change the World” is based on a book of the same name by Rev. Mike Slaughter, who challenges churches of every size to "to be a mission outpost, living out Christ’s ideals in today’s world."
Members tackle the job of cleaning brush from
a building site for Habitat.
Here is how to keep up with how the church is changing the world: